Controlled Assembly of Lignocellulosic Biomass Components and Properties of Reformed Materials

Jing Wang, Ramiz Boy, Ngoc A. Nguyen, Jong K. Keum, David A. Cullen, Jihua Chen, Mikhael Soliman, Kenneth C. Littrell, David Harper, Laurene Tetard, Timothy G. Rials, Amit K. Naskar, Nicole Labbé

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Reforming whole lignocellulosic biomass into value-added materials has yet to be achieved mainly due to the infusible nature of biomass and its recalcitrance to dissolve in common organic solvents. Recently, the solubility of biomass in ionic liquids (ILs) has been explored to develop all-lignocellulosic materials; however, efficient dissolution and therefore production of value-added materials with desired mechanical properties remain a challenge. This article presents an approach to producing high-performance lignocellulosic films from hybrid poplar wood. An autohydrolysis step that removes ≤50% of the hemicellulose fraction is performed to enhance biomass solvation in 1-ethyl-3-methyl imidazolium acetate ([C2mim][OAc]). The resulting biomass-IL solution is then cast into free-standing films using different coagulating solvents, yet preserving the polymeric nature of the biomass constituents. Methanol coagulated films exhibit a cocontinuous 3D-network structure with dispersed domains of less than 100 nm. The consolidated films with controllable morphology and structural order demonstrate tensile properties better than those of quasi-isotropic wood. The methods for producing these biomass derivatives have potential for fabricating novel green materials with superior performance from woody and grassy biomass.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8044-8052
Number of pages9
JournalACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 5 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • High performance lignocellulosic materials
  • Ionic liquid
  • Nanocomposite
  • Regenerated whole biomass
  • Small-angle X-ray scattering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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